Catfishing Tips

Today I want to look at a few simple catfishing tips. Catfishing is extremely fun, and the really neat thing about catfish, is that you have the potential to pull in a monster fish. Catfish have been known to get up into the 100 pound range, and although it is rare to catch one that size, it can be done.

I have personally seen a jug a line where a large catfish straightened an Eagle Claw 9/0 circle hook (that’s a pretty big hook). It was our estimation that the fish was at least 40 to 50 pounds to be able to straighten a hook of that size. How did we do it? Let’s take a look at some of these catfishing tips.

Jug Fishing

Probably the premier way to go catfishing, when you set a couple of dozen jug lines out for catfish, you stand a very good chance of catching fish. Use live or dead shad or perch when you are fishing this method, as the larger catfish tend to hit this bait a lot more often.

In general, the larger the bait the better. We often use shad that in the 5 to 6 inch long range, and perch that are about that same size. And trust me when I say that a 10 pound catfish can take a 6 inch perch without any problems at all.

Drift Fishing

This is another good way to go when you are seeking the larger catfish. In this scenario, I recommend that you use live bait wherever possible. Live shad tend to die quickly, and if you are fishing with shad, just make sure to change them out often. A good live perch will do well in this type of environment.

Get you a good, solid, heavy weight and secure it to the end of your line. The tie on a hook about 2 to 3 feet above the weight. This will keep the live perch or shad off the bottom, but close enough to the bottom to be swimming right in front of the face of the catfish.

Try to drift across bottom structure changes like drop off points and old river beds. Anywhere the habitat changes considerably is a good potential spot to find fish.

Set It and Forget It

The traditional way to rod and reel for catfish. In this case you will find a good spot to throw your line in, and you will setup in one spot, and let your bait sit on the bottom, or under a cork until something comes through to grab it. If you are really want to catch fish quickly, use catfish bait like chicken livers or blood bait to stir up the catfish quickly.

These types of bait will tend to yield smaller fish than using shad or perch, but the action will be faster. For the most part, any area that is populated with fish will have more smaller fish than it will big fish. But don’t think you’ll only catch fry sized catfish on livers and blood bait. I was on a retreat recently and caught a nice 3 pound catfish on a chicken liver. It put up 4 or 5 runs on me before I got it in. It was an exciting fight.

Good areas to setup include stump filled areas, drop off points, edges of bulrushes, underneath or beside fallen tree limbs, rocks, and other places where the bottom structure changes or where currents break. Set your bait on the bottom, and wait for the fish to come in.

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